The Cruel Prince (Hardcover)
I like faerie stories generally, and Holly Black's are particularly gorgeously told, and this one is no exception. I loved the dark undertones in the book, and I loved the way the main character worked with her limitation, making the best of her situations, which includes the way she played the "game". And, since this is the first in a series, I can't wait to see how it all will play out in the next one.— Melissa Fox
Holly Black has done a great job world building, taking standard tropes in faerie tales and putting her particular spin on things with "The Cruel Prince," the first in a new series from Black, who is a seasoned writer of lore.
I stayed intrigued by the story, compelled to continue reading how a mundane-born Jude forges her own way, wields her cunning, ferocity, and spite to make a place for herself in her stepfather's world. All the while keeping her family safe - or as safe as she thinks she can make them.
Along with Jude, Black infuses characters with strength, passions, and shortcomings of their own: a faerie-born stepsister who longs for the mundane world; a twin sister who tries desperately to fit in and to love strongly; a stepbrother who is young and innocent of the cunning around him in the faerie world. And the protagonist of the novel, the young prince, who seems not to care for Jude, who pushes and punishes her without relent, is one with whom readers can loathe but still sympathize with - a deft accomplishment on Black's part.
Jude learns the ins and outs, becomes a trained spy, and levels the playing field by using the faeries' words as magically as they manage, and it's the wordplay that Black employs which keeps this book building from one page to the next.
Can't wait for the next episode in this series, one that I'm sure will be at the top of my list in 2018.— Shelly Walston
By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
About the Author
Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.